I am not ashamed to say that I don’t know much about capitalism, economics, government, corporate lobbying, and many other things that Occupy are fighting for. I do remember that I began to visit Occupy camps, specifically Occupy San Francisco and Occupy Oakland, because I share a belief that 99% of our society are trapped under the corruption and imperialistic control of both corporations and governments. I also share the belief in complete transparency, an improved health and social welfare system, a bigger focus on local governments, that men and women should be treated equally, that all races should also be treated equally, and that all people should never have to be hungry, unhoused, or neglected.
I am not a print journalist, so I cannot write an analytical piece on each mentioned subject that would-so be mentioned in this post in order to explain myself completely.
I am not anti-capitalist, I have not seen any economic system survive healthily by any other means. However, I do support calls for many socialist-influenced reforms. Mainly reforms that would create positive trickle-down effects for workers: sweatshop-free labour, life event benefits such as mental health/maternity/paternity/childcare leaves, and the freedom of individual ethical decision making without fear of losing one’s job.
From my knowledge, what we need may be new employment schemes, because persons like me - university students/recent graduates, the genuinely unemployed, the disabled who can work to the most of their ability, are being left stranded with shrinking benefits programmes that promote dependency.
I am not an anarchist, because from history and studies, there will always be a power hierarchy that will come to the forefront. Smaller governing bodies, such as neighbourhoods, cities, and counties should be more respected, but the absence of a government does not seem to work for me. I see safety in the beginning, I see people working together in the beginning to self-organise democratic settings, but I also begin to see the human condition, as people begin to sway proposals and begin to discredit or become separatists in order to achieve the goals and agendas that they solely want.
I am here to simply say that I am continuing to learn more and more about my own self, and believe that not everyone in Occupy has found a sense of solace within themselves. I also add that I am continuing to learn more about Occupy as a movement itself, along with the corporate agendas that they are trying to organise against.
I do respect diversity of tactics, black-bloc, and other methods to extend a group’s messages, but I cannot yet understand why one group or one person in such groups can claim that their tactic is the more-so effective way to proceed. I am a livestreamer, and I do it because I am drawn to unedited raw video and do want to show the full context of human behaviour - from police smashing limbs to protesters smashing windows. Capturing raw video has brought a lot of newfound interest about the movement, and to see how police have been treating the peaceful assemblers. Though I would never like to be in support of incriminating someone because of my livestream, I have an understanding that broken objects must be repaid for, either through existing taxation or by personal funds of small business owners.
My diversity of tactics ends with being the presentation of different ways that one can promote love, solidarity, unity, and capturing the hearts of people who may have never learned about the Occupy movement. I understand that each occupation has its own local issues, but the 1%’s corruption is not only national but global.
I feel as if the movement, at least at the locations I have visited, is beginning to stray away from being in support of everyone that is of the 99%. There has been much infighting, threatening, and a rising rate of persons who, at one time, called each other their brothers and sisters but now call them their enemies.
As more division is created: schools are closing, tuition is increasing, many are being left in pain in emergency wards at hospital because of inabilities to afford expensive health insurance, a person is being harassed by their own billing statements & policemen & intimate partners, a teenager may be in the midst of attempting suicide, parliaments are passing more laws to create inequality and censorship, arms are being traded from country to country, men and women are being sold into slavery, someone is being fired for standing up for themselves, agribusinesses are injecting more chemicals into our foods without labelling them, austerity measures invisibly being enforced upon citizens, and a few hundred other injustices that have certainly happened by the time you reach the full-stop of this sentence.
The Declaration of the Occupation of New York City reads:
As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.
As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.
-They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
-They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
-They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
-They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
-They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless animals, and actively hide these practices.
-They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
-They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.
-They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.
-They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.
-They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
-They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
-They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.
-They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
-They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.
-They have donated large sums of money to politicians, who are responsible for regulating them.
-They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
-They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives or provide relief in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantial profit.
-They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.
-They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
-They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.
-They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.
-They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
-They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.*
To the people of the world,
We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.
Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.
To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.
Lets get back to the roots of what brought a massive load of the 99%’s random strangers together and continue our fight against the 1% from there. In the spirit of love, peace, process, and democracy.
From an average Occupy participant,
who may not know everything and accepts that,
who may innocently find themselves enemies,
who only hopes to work towards bettering government
as well as the whole of society,
I love you.
(response to a family member who is concerned about my involvement with occupy) I see a government that has been at war for every decade since its inception. I see a government that committed a gross genocide against the native populations in order to steal their land. I see a government that has enabled corporations to steal from the public through government contracts and kickbacks. Furthermore I see a diseased society in which people value money more then happiness, peace, love, understanding, and compassion. I see the United States as it really is, a selfish, indulgent, hateful, ignorant, and violent nation. I see a nation that has destroyed the concept of community and replaced it with institution. I see a nation that has destroyed critical thinking, and replaced it with repetitious thought. I see a nation that destroyed art, creativity, and passion and replaced it with rules, regulations, and formalities. I see a nation who uses wars around the world in order to maintain a peace at home. A peace that isn't built on community, equality and love. No, a peace that is built on material goods, consumerism, and selfish indulgence. So what am I doing about it? Im no longer participating. My life is an act of rebellion. I will not participate in a society that places thieves and murderers in positions of honor while enslaving for profit millions of people through our bullshit judicial system. I cut out all unnecessary expenses. Instead of going out to eat I go to massive community potlucks. Instead of going to a bar I go to a friends house. Instead of going to a show...we throw concerts in backyards, basements, and living rooms. I attend workshops put on by affinity groups. I learn/teach about oppressions of all types. Religious based, Gender-based, Race-based, Sex-based, Economic based...ect. I sit in union halls and help workers strike against mega-corporations that want to strip them of their rights. I hang out with street kids and lawyers. I attend nightly potlucks, I share what I have with those in need. I protest, I and thousands with me call out those thieves and murderers in public through civil disobedience. I teach. I give classes on American History using 'A peoples history of the united states.' I give speeches. I sit on panels at churches, libraries, homes, parks, and anywhere else im invited to. I speak to the media. I try in the best way I know how to share a revolutionary message that places community over institution. I share my knowledge of americas vast history of oppression. I form friendships. I meet people of all types and backgrounds. I encourage them and they encourage me. I help them and they help me. We are dedicated to social change and our friendships are forged through collective struggle. We are creative. we come up with creative ways to explain and reveal the vast corruption in the American system. we make posters and costumes. I share ideas. we turn those ideas into essays, actions, speeches, posters, pictures and movies. We are fools. We know that society doesn't want to hear our message. We know that society is more then comfortable with genocide, population manipulation, consumerism, greed, pride, hatred and ignorance. But we refuse to play along. We are creating a new world...and we are creating it right now. Our lives are the first casualties in the revolution. We are sacrificing our comfort, privilege, and apathy in order to show people that a new world is possible!
The above was found on Twitter/Pastebin. Great response in my opinion. I don’t partake in all of the things this person does, but I try my best.
I will be taking this website, as well as my own, down on 17 & 18 January. I am doing this as part of a larger movement the Twitterverse is calling #OpBlackout. We are attempting to, in a sense, take down (our own) websites as a symbol of retaliation against both SOPA and PIPA. Websites such as Reddit, Cheezburger, Pastebin*, Minecraft, WikiLeaks*, and The Pirate Bay* are taking part in this movement, with huge pressure on Google and Wikipedia to do so additionally.
We will be shutting down one day before the 18th (the #OpBlackout date), because I will be in Washington, DC on the National Mall livestreaming #OccupyCongress. Unable to change DNS settings freely, as I will be strenuously busy, the only way for Relatd to protest is in an extended fashion.
During those two days, Relatd and all of my personal websites will be redirected to a black page with only my livestream and the SOPA hearings (both from DC) enabled for viewing.
This site might be accessible through Tumblr, if you’re lucky.
Sorry for the inconvenience.